Sunday, March 18, 2007

Round the Vines 10k race report

Man, I need to update that sidebar!

Today P and I, my friend A and her colleague M set out to Martinborough (a gorgeous little town about an hour's drive out of Welly) to compete in one of its major events, Round the Vines. It is a fundraiser for the local school, has 21k and 10k run and walk options, and features wine, grapes and other yummy fruit at the drink stops as you run through vineyards and along the roads (which I have never yet been able to enjoy- I always "race" it). Last year our team won, which was awesome! I had an abysmal race as it was hot and yucky and my tum was going bonkers. It was the first time I walked in a race, and
actually marked the begin of my training troubles from last year.

This year my goal was to race smart and to break 50. It's been so long since I did a standalone running race (Harbour Capital half in June last year!), and I find the course quite slow, as it can be windy, there are lots of sharp corners and a lot is offroad. I decided to see how running with GPS and HRM worked for me- an experiment to decide how I kit myself for the half in a couple of weeks and for the big-M next month (eek!).

The race ended up being windy and rainy, which was awesome for me. I definitely achieved my goal of racing smart- possibly too conservatively! The k markers were all out of whack (3:58 for the first k? Yeah right!) and they show a terrible positive split (try 4 minutes!) but this was not right at all. The ks came out something like this (I wasn't using the lap function):

1- 3:58
2&3- 14:38
4: 19:xx
5: 23:04
6: 28:00
7: 32:25
8: 37:25
9: 43:02
10: 49:02

I KNOW that I did not run the first 5k in 23 and the second in 26! I also know I did not run the last k in 6 minutes- I had set my GPS to beep when I fell below 5:00/k pace and it didn't beep once in that k. This was quite frustrating for me, as I felt confident in my ability to come in under 49 when I got to the 8 and 9k markers. I should have used my GPS distance more, but it sits on my upper arm, and it was much easier just to check the pace. I also should have looked at my watch over the last 200m. I could easily have shaved those 2 stupid seconds. On the whole I liked using my GPS. It mostly only beeped on corners, but every so often I would slack off and have to pick up the pace and I did find it helped. Especially with the screwy markers. I will use it again at the Great Forest- probably set the beeps for a 1:50 pace, which is a little conservative, I hope! I might try to use the lap function too.

I didn't really feel warmed up until about 5k, and I passed people consistently from then on (mostly 10kers, though there were some slow half-ers in there too). Passing people from 7 to 10 felt great, and I felt strong and smart, if not fast.

So, I achieved both goals and got a standalone 10k PB (my PB was actually in a half!) I was a bit sad to be the slowpoke in the team (the others were between 44:50 and 45:50), but an entire team of fast men beat us all so I didn't feel I'd let them down. A ran 45:05 for second place, which is awesome, and also made me feel better. Last year she ran 43:44 for 4th, so maybe it was harder this year? 4 minutes over 10k is a lot, but A and P both have much faster 10ks in their legs. I also picked up a lot of pace on the road, so I think a road 10k would have been faster too. In any case, no more whining. I did good.


Wes said...

I've found the Garmin to be very useful during races. It shows the lap pace and the overall average pace. The heart rate monitor is not so useful, other than recording the fact that I'm running in Zone 2 or 1 in some cases. I guess that's just something to work on!

TJ said...

great job on setting a new pb!

Amy said...

Good on you! You are setting up nicely for your big races. Which you will no doubt rock.

JenC said...

You are a fast one! Great job on the new PR!

Rachel said...

Congrats! That's super fast!